The Department for Education’s 2021 strategy document includes a priority outcome that it will "Level up education standards so that children and young people in every part of the country are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications they need".
It appears that the result of the proposals in this consultation would be to take money away from school improvement. It’s hard to see how this could possibly support the government’s desire to level up standards. We believe that prevention is always better than cure. Local authority (LA) maintained schools should have access to core improvement activity as and when required, and LAs should be sufficiently funded outside the dedicated schools grant to be able to do this.
The consultation does not give any indication of how and where this funding stream, worth £50 million in academic year September 2020 to August 2021, will be redirected. The government needs to provide an evidence-based explanation of how and why this funding would be better used elsewhere, including how it could be tracked and monitored for efficacy. Without such an explanation, it’s difficult not to suspect that these proposals are driven by ideology, rather than evidence.
Full response to consultation